North Korean employees of South Korean companies at the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea were given the biscuits as a form of payment, after the companies were banned from paying the workers monetary bonuses, the Daily Mail
But North Korean officials told businesses to stop handing them out, according to the Seoul-based news
paper Chosun Ilbo
Before the ban, employees could take home up to 20 of the treats every night of work.
They were selling the Choco Pies on the black market for substantial amounts of money, so officials have dictated that the workers will now receive foods like sausages, instant noodles and powdered coffee instead.
North Korea suffered a major famine in the 1990s and has since struggled with food production.
It has previously banned foods like pizza, hamburgers and French fries, although it has a thriving illegal black market for capitalist products.
reported that Choco Pies had been sent into North Korea in balloons by advocacy groups.
It’s hard to believe that anything as innocuous as a chocolate biscuit could start a black market trade, but such is the North Koreans’ love of Choco Pies that the tasty treats can no longer be given out as bonuses to workers.